Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cue "Barracuda"

Cue ‘Barracuda’

Once Sarah Palin finished her speech at the Republican National Convention, “Barracuda” by the band Heart blasted over the loud speakers in honor of Palin’s nickname in high school, “Sarah Barracuda.” It was a big hit with the crowd, but the Heart’s songwriters, Ann and Nancy Wilson, did not agree. The sisters stated that they didn’t believe “Sarah Palin’s views and values in no way represented us as American women” and demanded that the McCain-Palin campaign not play their song. Their publisher and label sent a letter to the campaign to have them stop advertising the McCain-Palin campaign with their song. It is obvious that the main reason why Ann and Nancy Wilson disagree with Palin using their song is because they disagree with Palin’s political views. However, not all artists are like the Wilson sisters. Some artists just don’t want their songs being used at all politically by any candidate or campaign. The author of the article believed that even though all and any artist has the right to their song and the way it is used, they believe that filing a copyright lawsuit to stop the song being used politically is a little too much. The author of the article proposed the question of “Why would we support limiting artists’ legal powers in this way?” The author proposes two reasons. The first reason is because artists make their songs available for from firms via “blanket license.” The blanket licensing system gives artists revenue they would not otherwise obtain by lowering the cost of licensing. This also allows bars, clubs, and restaurants to play artists’ music without fear of costs. By allowing artists to choose which song is allowed to be used for a blanket license, the system has no function. The McCain-Palin campaign continued to use the song, “Barracuda” because they cleared the license with the ASCAP firm. The second reason is because politicians use songs as a way to portray their views of what they stand for to the public. The ability to communicate their political message through the usage of music is a form of speech that should be protected by the First Amendment. In this case, the First Amendment wins because political speech is protected even with the copyright laws. All copyright laws should be respected nevertheless, but artists shouldn’t abuse the laws, like in this case with the campaign. Copyright laws exist so that artists get paid. As long as politicians pay for a blanket license for the use of a song, then there is nothing illegal about that.

1 comment:

William said...

ps im crushing you in this whole bloggin thing...yeah thats right. its a competition